This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Former Self-Storage Warehouse Turned Light-Filled Courtyard Home

Architecture

When architect Kyra Thomas (Kyra Thomas Architects) and her partner Julian Reznik were searching for their new home, they were looking for a challenge; something they could transform into a spacious family home, but that was a little different to the usual inner-city Sydney property.

They found exactly that in an old self-storage warehouse, which they’ve masterfully renovated into an elegant family home that seamlessly connects exterior courtyard spaces with an open-plan, light-filled interior.

22nd February, 2022

Floor to ceiling windows feature throughout the house, which was designed by owner and architect Kyra Thomas (Kyra Thomas Architects). Photo – Anson Smart.

Artwork by Wang Xu. Photo – Anson Smart.

Four courtyards were created inside the walls of the old warehouse, providing pockets of greenery in all corners. Photo – Anson Smart.

Artwork by Richard Serra. Photo – Anson Smart.

The kitchen stands distinct in the open-plan space thanks to its black stained oak cabinetry and stainless steel bench. Artwork by Richard Serra. Photo – Anson Smart.

Kyra likens the kitchen to a Donald Judd sculpture, which were recognised for their repeated geometric forms produced from industrialised, machine-made materials. Photo – Anson Smart.

The old walls of the warehouse are visible from the kitchen. Photo – Anson Smart.

A view from a bedroom of the living room, through one of the courtyards. Photo – Anson Smart.

Limestone was also used in the bathrooms for the floors and custom vanities. Photo – Anson Smart.

The build was completed by BAU Construction Group. Photo – Anson Smart.

Landscape design by Fieldwork. Photo – Anson Smart.

Light, European oak is a repeated material throughout the home. Photo – Anson Smart.

Photographic artwork by Tim Hall. Photo – Anson Smart.

The four courtyards, placed on the corners inside the perimeter of the old warehouse walls create green spaces to be enjoyed from every room. Photo – Anson Smart.

‘I love that when the sun shines we are producing solar which provides all our energy needs,’ says Kyra. ‘The incorporation of sustainable elements is subtle and integrated and gives us great satisfaction!’ Photo – Anson Smart.

The old 3.5 metre brick walls of the original warehouse remain as the perimeter of the property. Photo – Anson Smart.

Bea Taylor
Tuesday 22nd February 2022

‘We were keen to find a site that was an architectural challenge.’ – Kyra Thomas

When an architect and a developer buy and renovate their own home, you can be fairly sure the results will be something special! This is certainly the case for Kyra Thomas of Kyra Thomas Architects and her husband Julian Reznik, who bought a dilapidated self-storage warehouse, and turned it into a spacious, courtyard home. 

‘We wanted a project that was more interesting than alterations and additions,’ explains Kyra. ‘We were keen to find a site that was an architectural challenge, something we could add value to, and create a generous family home from.’ 

They found this old warehouse in Queens Park, NSW, and bought it the same day. Kyra, who looked beyond its dark and dilapidated structure, immediately saw the potential for a ‘ calm, light-filled family home within the walls of the warehouse.’

Choosing the final design, however, proved to be a challenge; ‘There were hundreds of iterations of the design before I settled on the house we built. There were so many options of what we could do,’ she explains. 

The new 220sqm house – with four exterior courtyards – sits within the 3.5 metre tall walls and 722sqm site of the old warehouse. ‘The result is a complete sanctuary. It’s unbelievably quiet and private,’ says Kyra. ‘The walls act as a buffer between us and the world.’

The house is designed around simple spaces, with a pared back material palette. Kyra worked hard to remove any areas and details that were superfluous, to create a home that was both sustainable and functional. 

For the exterior, painted bagged brick features on new external walls, which connect to the old brick walls of the warehouse. Inside, the material palette is limited to three or four elements; sandblasted limestone for the floors, European oak for the joinery, fresh white walls and ceilings, and light oak furniture. The kitchen cuts a striking form in the midst of the clean interior with black stained oak and stainless steel benchtops. 

‘This contrast from the rest of the house acts like a [Donald] Judd-like sculpture in the middle of open plan living spaces,’ says Kyra. ‘For me, the repetition of a few key natural materials brings warmth, texture and depth to the minimal architectural spaces and keeps the interior space calm and consistent.’ 

The heart of the home lies in the four courtyards, each situated to carry view lines between the different spaces and open up the house. Floor to ceiling windows connect these green spaces to the interior and allow light to permeate through the home. 

‘It’s a total joy,’ says Kyra. ‘The dynamic of having greenery right up against the windows creates beautiful outlooks and connects us to a calm, ever-changing green space.’ 

This Week

2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.
1.58

One Room Wonders

Before + After: An Arty + Eclectic Kids Bedroom Transformation

See how we transformed a simple space into a fun and colourful kids bedroom (in just one week!) with Surround by Laminex.
Lucy Feagins
  1 hour ago

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Surprisingly Spacious Home, On A Tiny Footprint

Strachan Group Architects transform an untenable piece of land into a striking small home in Auckland, New Zealand.
Bea Taylor

Architecture

A Classic Victorian Terrace, Reimagined As Three Light-Filled Pavilions

A series of mews-like buildings designed by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design have expanded this Fitzroy home for added light, air and space...

Architecture

This Inner-City Melbourne Home Unfolds Like A Garden Path

A remarkable Melbourne home that references the mountain ranges of rural New Zealand, and the beaches of South Australia - by Architecture A...

This Week

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras
1.58

One Room Wonders

Before + After: An Arty + Eclectic Kids Bedroom Transformation

See how we transformed a simple space into a fun and colourful kids bedroom (in just one week!) with Surround by Laminex.
Lucy Feagins
  1 hour ago

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Surprisingly Spacious Home, On A Tiny Footprint

Strachan Group Architects transform an untenable piece of land into a striking small home.
Bea Taylor

Architecture

A Classic Victorian Terrace, Reimagined As Three Light-Filled Pavilions

Matt Gibson Architecture + Design have expanded this Fitzroy home for added light, air and space.

Architecture

This Inner-City Melbourne Home Unfolds Like A Garden Path

A remarkable Melbourne home that references the mountain ranges of rural New Zealand, and the beaches of South Australia - by Architecture A...

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net